“I feel like I’m attracted to artists who are looking for the meaning of life, people seeking to understand the universe through their work.” – Flying Lotus
Two of my favourites are back at it with the fire for BBC Radio 1’s Thursday night residencies. In this recent run, Flying Lotus takes us through an insane mix including Thom Yorke, Bjork, Aphex Twin, and Portishead, and even has a special guest on the air – fellow LA producer Gaslamp Killer.
Montreal’s Kaytranada serves up some greatness – Shalamar, Kali Uchis, Mac Demarco, The Isley Brothers, and Knxwledge.
Listen to the full shows here.
A haunting new video from The Man of every hour, FlyLo.
This particular track is one of my favourites from the album (You’re Dead!) and appears halfway through when the protagonist is beginning to connect with the fact that he is dying, however is still not completely at peace with it. The video follows this concept closely and illustrates the idea of death dancing* at every corner; an inescapable and unsettling fate. While the imagery throughout is dark and morbid, the clip ends with a stirring surrender and a beautiful gunshot splatter of blood-red rose petals.
*(Literally dancing – FlyLo can be seen at 3:09, and more death angels cutting shapes at 3:37)
2014 was full of groundbreaking musical releases from all corners of the earth. Regardless of your personal taste, this year there was something for everybody.
The following list is my top 10: From heavy hip hop, to summery jangle pop, to fluttery acid jazz; this genre-blending collection of sounds defines my taste perfectly – Inclusive, Diverse, and Eclectic.
Here we go:
Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
The lyrical talent of Long Beach native Vince Staples is truly crippling. If Kendrick is the voice of hope, then Staples is the mouthpiece for the hopeless. Hell Can Wait is a captivating tale of drugs, crime, and police brutality. “And they expect respect and non-violence.. I refuse the right to be silent.” With resigned honesty, he tells the stories that are often overlooked. Unlike many of his peers, he is not glorifying street culture and violence or even necessarily trying to change anything; rather he is criticising the corrupt system that has taken so much from him and those he loves; the society that forces people down and makes us turn on each other in order to survive. “North Division tryna stop my blackness.” Staples is a much needed addition to the current state of hip hop because he raps from a place of truth and maturity far beyond his 21 years. His flow is calculated and alters itself seamlessly to fit the beat – At times firm and vehement, it then gracefully speeds up to dance over the tripped out haunting production.
Stand Out Tracks: 65 Hunnid, Hands Up, Feelin the Love
[*Visual above came out only 2 days ago – This is the 1st of 2 tracks from You’re Dead! already released. Kendrick’s flow is seamless on FlyLo’s production, and this video? I cried*]
The masterful mind of Steven Ellison – better known as Flying Lotus – is a consistent and renewing resource that gives and gives. I don’t know how we mere mortals figure we’re worthy of all this musical goodness, so first off I’d like to thank my connect.
In a few days, FlyLo’s 5th studio album You’re Dead! is due for release. The last time I was this excited for an album was probably Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange (2012), or last year’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon by King Krule. (If you know me at all, you know how highly I hold Frank & Archy so you can probably assume my levels of anticipation at this point.)
Whether you’re FlyLo’s biggest fan, or someone who has only caught a few of his better known tracks/collaborations in passing, I think we can all agree has an undeniable gift. His appeal not only crosses genres, but is so far-reaching that he’s probably your favourite producer’s favourite producer. (By the way, he can rap too. Check out Captain Murphy’s Duality, 2012) He creates music that is innovative, experimental, and ground-breaking; All while ensuring his sound remains digestible and palatable – Oh, and he makes it look easy; natural even.